Sweet Sunday Sermon – Gesture of Kindness (2 Samuel 9)

Submitted by Dr. GP

2 Samuel 9 records the most wonderful account of David’s magnificent gesture of kindness to Mephibosheth, the grandson of his enemy Saul, in which four times we are made aware that Mephibosheth was restored him to an exalted position and invited to eat at David’s table just like one of the king’s sons. 

This is a lovely type or foreshadowing of the doctrine of the adoption of sons as is declared in Galations 4: 4-7 thus” But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 

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  • • THE GRACE OF GOD IN 2 SAMUEL 9
    part 1
    • DAVID’S KINDNESS TO MEPHIBOSHETH
    • HOW GRACE IS EXTENDED v1-5
    • THE REASON FOR GRACE v1
    • THE REACH OF GRACE V 3
    • THE RANGE OF GRACE V 4
    • THE RESPONSE OF GRACE V 5
    • THE RECEIPT OF GRACE V 5
    • GRACE BRINGS US INTO THE KING’S PRESENCE TO RECEIVE THE A B C’s OF GRACE
    • The A, B, C’s of grace are—
    • “A” = acceptance;
    • “B” = blessing;
    • “C”= communion V 13
    • The sensitive reader will observe in 2 Samuel 9 many parallels between himself or herself and Mephibosheth and between David and the Savior.
    • We wish to deal with these comparisons in some detail today.

    • HOW GRACE IS EXTENDED v1-5
    • THE REASON FOR GRACE
    • “Then David said, ‘Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (9:1).
    • The story opens in the throne room of King David in Jerusalem.
    • David has it in his heart to extend grace to a member from the family of Saul “kindness for Jonathan’s sake.”
    • The word “kindness” (9:1, 3, 7) is the key to this chapter.
    • It is the Hebrew word chesed, often translated “lovingkindness.” It points to God’s loving faithfulness –His loyal, unfailing love for His people.
    • The word for “kindness” is also translated “goodness, mercy, favor, and loving kindness.” It is the O.T. word for “Grace.”
    • In 2 Samuel 9:1–3 David inquired about any surviving relatives of the house of Saul. David was specifically seeking out children of Jonathan, with whom he had made a covenant of protection at 1 Samuel. 18:3; 20:14–15, 42; 24:20–21.
    • The “kindness” of “David” related to the covenant bond into which he and Jonathan had entered as recorded in 1 Samuel 20:14-17.
    • At the inauguration of this covenant Jonathan had told David, “You shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut of every one of the enemies of David” (2 Samuel 20:15).
    • God had demonstrated grace and kindness to David in so many ways.
    • His life had been spared on numerous occasions.
    • He fought the giant Goliath and won.
    • He had escaped the snares and dangers of wild beasts.
    • His life had been redeemed from the pit of pain and hunger and desertion more than a few times.
    • Now, David wanted to reciprocate that kindness. Those who have been touched by the grace of God want to pass it on, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.“(Romans 5:5).
    • “Then David said, ‘Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’”
    • Let us not pass over the text of this verse too quickly, lest we fail to see the shadows of the “Greater David”, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • First, note that just as David was motivated to show the lovingkindness of God, so too, God was motivated by His kindness to pour out His Spirit through the Greater David, Jesus Christ, on those who did not deserve it, Paul explained that God showed His great kindness to sinful man for Christ’s sake in Titus 3:3-7 thus…..
    • For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    • It is noteworthy, that David initiated the search for a possible relative of Jonathan and not vice versa.
    • Similarly, because we were as described in Romans 3:11 as people who were not seeking after God, the Lord Jesus sought us out in our spiritual helplessness. We read in Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly, and in Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    • The Lord Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost, even those who did not seek Him and who were His inveterate (firmly established) enemies, hostile and alienated toward Him.
    • The Lord Jesus follows us in our empty wanderings
    (Psalm 23:6), and calls us by His Word, His providence, and His Spirit.
    • “Is there anyone remaining from Saul’s family I can show kindness to because of Jonathan?” (2 Sam. 9:1).
    • Notice that David is motivated to do this for the sake of Jonathan. This clearly demonstrates the loyal, faithful love (hesed) that David had for Jonathan and which was a central component of the covenant they cut (1 Samuel 20:8)
    • David did this, not because the house of Saul deserved it; he did it because of his relationship with Jonathan. They were closer than brothers. 1 Sam. 18:1-3
    • David did this because he remembered his relationship and covenant with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14-15). His actions were not only based on feelings, but also on the promise of a covenant.
    • Similarly, our Christian walk is not based on feelings! 2 Corinthians 5:7 points out that “ we walk by faith, not by sight;) and Romans 10:17 teaches that “ faith cometh by hearing…, the word of God.”
    • Similarly, the Lord Jesus came to seek and to save the loss because of the promise of Genesis 3:15. What a picture of the steadfast lovingkindness of God.
    • We are therefore forced to agree with the tenet of 1 Chronicles 16:34 which proclaims O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
    • With awe, we ask What is man, that thou art mindful of him?(Psalm 8:1a).
    • Like the song writer we ponder Jesus, what didst thou find in me. that thou hast dealt so lovingly? How great the joy that thou hast brought, so far exceeding hope or thought!
    • What else can poor sinners saved by grace and made rich in Christ say but…”For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9), as we reflect on the fact that “ God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
    • He did it also, because of two promises he had made many years before. David had promised both Jonathan and Saul that he would not totally destroy their offspring, 1 Sam. 20:13-17; 1 Sam. 24:20-22.
    • At the time of this chapter, it had been somewhere between 15 and 20 years after the battle that Jonathan and Saul died in. David had made a promise to Jonathan, his beloved friend and the son of Saul, that he would show kindness to the remaining members of Saul’s household. (See 1 Samuel 20:15-16.) David now intended to keep that promise.
    • In the intervening years since the death of Jonathan, David had been extremely busy in wars and establishing himself as king of all Israel. David is now finally secure in his office as king and now intended to keep the promise that he had made to Jonathan.
    • Since 15-20 years had now passed since David had made his promise to Jonathan, He could easily have reasoned, it’s been almost two decades since I cut covenant with Jonathan, so I am free of any obligation, and besides no one else even knows about the covenant we cut.
    • But despite the passage of time, David’s loyalty to covenant was steadfast and so much so that it controlled his thoughts and actions in 2Samuel 9.
    • David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), was a man of his word, and understood the solemn and binding nature of covenant.
    • And even though he was in a sense bound by the covenant to show loving kindness to Jonathan’s descendants, there is no hint that David is doing so as a “legalistic” obligation but as an act of his covenant love.
    • Just as David was motivated by his covenant love for Jonathan, so too God made us accepted in the Beloved (Jesus Christ), in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:6)
    • David’s question in verses 1 & 3, showed a great love by demonstrating kindness, rather than vengeance, because Saul had made himself an enemy of David.
    • There was no reason that David’s interest should have been drawn toward any in the house of Saul, as this house had ever made war against David . For years the half-crazed Saul had obsessively hunted David like big game.
    • Now that Saul was dead David had been crowned king of Israel.
    • According to oriental custom of that day, it was common practice for the king of a new dynasty to totally eradicate the families of a previous dynasty in order to ensure that no descendant from the previous dynasty could launch a claim for the throne. As long as a spark of life from that family still smoldered, it was a threat to the new king.
    • As King, David would have been justified in putting to death any of the offspring of Saul, and eliminating Saul’s household to avenge Saul’s attempts to kill him.
    • Mephibosheth the first-born son of Jonathan was part of the prior dynasty of Saul, He had a right to the throne. Since other potential heirs were dead, Mephibosheth would have been the heir apparent to Jonathan.
    • In a political sense David could consider Mephibosheth as his potential enemy and a rival or a threat.
    • David, however, treats Mephibosheth, the only surviving male member of the royal family, as the rightful heir to Saul’s estates, with honor.
    • His generosity is coupled with the command to eat at David’s table.
    • We must disregard the commentaries that question David’s motives for his actions in this chapter, saying that he wants to keep Mephibosheth under observation should he be inclined to subversion.
    • It seems they are almost oblivious to the obvious repetition of the word lovingkindness which is clearly David’s motivation reflecting his commitment to covenant with his beloved friend Jonathan.
    • David’s response was much different to other kings. David’s desire to extend grace to a member of Saul’s family is amazing in light of what new kings usually did when they came to power.
    • Although David had the right to execute judgment, and to slay his enemies wholesale, he sought to do them good, and chose instead to demonstrate grace in one of the most beautiful acts of kindness exhibited to an outcast.
    • Instead of seeking descendants of Jonathan to assassinate, as occurred with most regime changes in that day, David sought to show lovingkindness (hesed)………defined as “love that is willing to commit itself to another by making its promise a matter of solemn record”.
    • When told about the crippled Mephibosheth, David desired to show him special kindness as he sought to honor any living member of Saul’s family for Jonathan’s sake. David’s kindness thus reflected the kindness that is part of God’s character. What David did was grace!
    • Thus it was that David sought to extend grace because of another. That is the nature of grace! David would display loving loyalty toward Jonathan by ministering to the physical needs of his crippled son, Mephibosheth .
    • Little wonder David is called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22)!
    • Similarly, the Lord Jesus came to seek and to save the loss, long after the promise of Genesis 3:15.
    • In like manner, God extends His grace to the descendants of Adam. We do not deserve His grace, His love and His mercy. We deserve judgment, damnation and Hell, Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4. Yet, God extends His amazing grace to us because of another- His Son.
    • He reaches out to fallen, depraved sinners because He loves His Son; and because Jesus died for us on the cross. We have nothing to merit us to God, but because of Jesus, we can experience God’s amazing grace. Just as David would not forget his covenant promise to Jonathan, neither will the Greater David, the Lord Jesus Christ forget His New Covenant promise to us for He has inscribed us “on the palms of” His hands (Isaiah 49:16).
    • The scars of this covenant will endure throughout eternity, long after the Lord’s second coming.
    • David went against the principle of revenge and against the principle of self-preservation and asked what he could do for the family of his enemy.
    • He is thus a good picture of the Lord Jesus, the King of Kings, who came to seek and to save us while we were still in our sins as taught in Romans 5:8 &11.
    • The hymn writer accurately speaks of the Lord Jesus, thus.
    • “Conquering kings their titles take from the foes they captive make. Jesus by a nobler deed from the thousands he has freed.”
    • Colossians 2:14 in the NIV, teaches that Jesus “canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
    • The KJV puts it this way “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

    THE REACH OF GRACE V 3
    • A. WE WERE FALLEN IN SIN.
    • And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. v3
    • David learned through Ziba, that there was a descendant of Saul and son of Jonathan called Mephibosheth, who was still living though lame on his feet. It seems that Mephibosheth was in hiding.
    • We first read of this son of Jonathan in 2 Samuel 4:4, where we are told that he was lame on his feet, and crippled through a fall. Twice we are told that Mephibosheth was lame in both feet (9:3, 13).
    • This is spiritually true of all mankind. Because of Adam’s fall, all his children have inherited his crippled, sinful condition.
    • The spiritual parallel is obvious. Just as Mephibosheth once walked with his father, so man originally walked with God in the Garden. But sin came and man suffered a fall which left him as a permanent spiritual cripple, alienated from God.
    • We are born with a nature that separates us from God and prevents us from coming to God. “Dead in your trespasses and sins,” Eph. 2:1) is the condition in which we were when God sought us out with His great love: fallen in sin, permanently damaged by that fall.
    • It is interesting that Ziba does not specify Mephibosheth’s name but instead choose to focus on his physical deformity.
    • How often we too are like Ziba and look primarily at the physical appearance of others while we fail to see what is really of eternal value to God! May Almighty give us eyes that me might be enabled to see others the way He sees them for the sake of Thy Son.
    • Mephibosheth, whose name means “Shameful,” is described as lame on his feet v. 3 and lame on both his feet v. 13 due to a fall. With his two lame feet is a perfect picture or type of the unregenerate sinner and the condition which he is in.
    • We are told in chapter 4:4 that he fell and became lame, a helpless cripple.
    • He reminds us of the fall of man, the sad fate of the sinner and the helpless condition into which sin has put man.
    • Titus 3:3 tells us how deformed we became as a result of our fall. =>
    • There we are told (my summary) that we were DUNCY, DISOBEDIENT, DECIEVED, DEVIANT & DIVERSE IN OUR LUSTS AND PLEASURES & DEVISIVE
    • That’s an accurate picture of the world today. As believers, we are lucky to have escaped some of this because of having the divine nature as is taught in 2 Peter 1:4
    • Just as Mephibosheth was helpless, being lame of both feet, fallen man has trouble standing before God. As an unregenerate sinner, man has no standing or status before God.
    • All men are helpless, impotent cripples in God’s sight, who are unable to help or save himself.
    • Our feet lead us astray. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; (Isa. 53:6).
    • Our feet get us into trouble. The way that the soul and the sole of the foot are so closely connected in Scripture is quite interesting. The scripture teaches that “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25).
    • When David decided to extend grace, he did so without any limits. He was looking for “ANY that is left of the house of Saul.” The house of Saul was the house of his predecessor and bitter enemy, but that did not matter. David placed no limits on his grace. He was willing to extend it to “any” member of the house of Saul.
    • You will notice that David said, “Is there not yet anyone?”
    • He did not say “anyone qualified”; or “anyone worthy?”; just, “anyone?”
    • David didn’t ask, “How badly is he crippled?” Instead, he asked, “Where is he?” and he sent for him. David didn’t think, “He would be useless to have around here.”
    • David was not looking for people who met a special criteria. “Any” person who was of the family of Saul was a candidate for the grace of King David.
    • In like manner, God’s amazing grace knows no boundaries! God extends His grace to all people regardless of their pasts, their racial, their social standing, or their deeds. He will save anyone who will come ( 1 Cor. 1:26-29)
    • Grace doesn’t depend on the recipient. Since Grace is God’s unmerited favor, Grace depends on God
    • Some may have rejected Mephibosheth because he was lame, but David’s action showed that he valued him greatly.
    • In God’s eyes, every person is important. He sent His only Son to die for us. May we remember with gratitude how much He values each human life.
    • It is also noteworthy that when Ziba informed David that Mephibosheth was crippled in both feet, that David did not respond “Isn’t there someone else who is not lame?”
    • In so doing David once again shows why he is a man after God’s own heart “for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
    • In extending kindness to Mephibosheth, who was crippled and in need of mercy, David exemplified the “kindness of God,” who shows mercy to all who are crippled spiritually by sin and longing for grace (Rom. 5:6-8; Eph. 2:8-9).

    • “the kindness of God”
    • David had asked Jonathan to show “the lovingkindness (hesed) of the LORD” (1 Samuel 20:14) and now desires to show the same to any in Jonathan’s house. The Almighty God used David as a “vessel of honor” (2timothy 2:21, cp Acts 9:15) to convey His lovingkindness.
    • The phrase “the kindness of God” is key to understanding David’s motivation in this chapter. David wanted to show someone else the same kindness God showed to him.
    • David’s idea of “the kindness of God” was to raise Mephibosheth from social degradation and obscurity to a position of greatest distinction, by making him free, and a and constant guest at his table.
    • The Lord Jesus has done the very same for us, for it is true that “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
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    • We first learned of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 4:4, where we are told that this son of Jonathan was made lame in his feet from an accident when they heard that his father Jonathan and his grandfather Saul died in battle.
    • When Mephibosheth’s father, Jonathan, and grandfather, Saul, were killed in battle, his nurse realized that five-year-old Mephibosheth as the heir to the throne was in danger of losing his life. Mephibosheth’s nurse gathered the boy and fled in haste at the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death. She rightly feared that the leader of a new royal dynasty would execute every potential heir of the former dynasty (2 Samuel 4:4).
    • The common custom of eastern monarchs in that day was to eliminate all rivals to the throne. So she grabbed the boy in her arms and ran in panic. He fell and, I would surmise, broke both of his ankles. Without modern medicine to set the bones properly, he was left a cripple for life.
    • Note that Mephibosheth is also called Meribbaal at 1 Chron. 8:34; 9:40. We ought not to confuse Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, with Mephibosheth, the son of Saul and daughter of Rizpah (cf. 2 Sam. 21:7–9). To clear, then, Saul had both a son and a grandson named Mephibosheth.
    • THE RANGE OF GRACE


    • 4
    • And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.
    • Where is he?
    • Our Lord is similarly inquiring of us today, just as David was then seeking the fearful son of Jonathan.
    • Where was Mephibosheth when David found him.
    • He was in the house of “Machir” a man of wealth (see 17:22-29) in a place called “Lodebar”. Both the house and the place describe Mephibosheth’s condition.
    • “Machir” means “Sold” and “Lodebar” means “No Pasture”.
    • What a picture that is of the lost sinner. Like Mephibosheth, the lost person is “sold” under sin and he is in a place where there is “no hope.” (we-. Rom. 7:14; The Prodigal Son – Luke 15:14)
    • Mephibosheth, was living at Lo Debar (meaning “no pasture”) in other words, a place of desolation with typically no food for the soul. We have all been at one time in this place, needing the grace of God.
    He is in a place where he cannot help himself. He was in a hopeless condition and he was helpless to do anything about it!
    • Lodebar-i.e “No pasture” is certainly a good word picture of Mephibosheth’s condition.
    • Ephesians 2:12, teaches “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
    • Not only was Lodebar-i.e “No pasture” a good word picture of Mephibosheth’s condition, Lo-debar also speaks of another aspect of our condition when God sought us out.
    • We were first fallen in sin (v3) and secondly we were hiding in Lodebar in fear of and far from God, the king .
    • Lo-debar was an obscure village located in Gilead, east of the Jordan, about 10 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. Lo-debar is probably the same as Debir, which is in Gilead north of the river Jabbok.
    • Mephibosheth knew that by virtue of his lineage, he could be put to death by King David, and so he was living in quiet obscurity out in Lo-debar.
    • “Lo-debar”was where we were when God found us. Due to our lineage from our father, Adam, we were deserving of God’s condemnation and judgment.
    • And so we just quietly blocked God out of our lives and moved as far away from His presence as we could get, hoping that He would not come looking. But He did!
    • It is true that, other than covenant promise between his father Jonathan, and David, Mephibosheth had no reason to expect kindness from David, so he was not seeking either the favor of the king, or to be in his presence.
    • Mephibosheth either did not know about, and/or did not understood the solemn covenant vows his father Jonathan had made with David some 15-20 years earlier. One wonders what Mephibosheth would have done had he known.
    • We see that just as Adam hid from the face of the Lord that Mephibosheth was hiding in a place of barrenness, in fear of the king.
    • As a prince he belonged at the court, but he knew that the hostility of his family to David made him unworthy.
    • Similarly, as unregenerate sinners, man was banished from God in the garden of Eden and deservingly so………… and it was decreed that the soul that sinneth it shall die.
    • Like contemporary men, Mephiboheth ought to have been seeking reconciliation and redemption and restoration, but he was not.
    • Instead he was exhibiting and experiencing the “four none’s” of Romans 3:10-12.
    • 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    • 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    • 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    • He was also mirroring the truth of the condition of the unregenerate sinner in Ephesians 2:1-3. Dead, Deceived, Depraved and Doomed! Sadly, many don’t see themselves as sinners, but the facts speak for themselves!
    • However, we read in Romans 5:20 that “where sin did abound, grace did much more abound”.
    • And we read in 2 Samuel 14:14 b that God……….devises means, so that his banished ones are not expelled from him.
    • Some may have rejected Mephibosheth because he was lame, but David’s action showed that he valued him greatly.
    • Similarly, in God’s eyes, every person is important. He sent His only Son to die for us. May we remember with gratitude how much He values each human life.
    • THE RESPONSE OF GRACE
    • 5
    • Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.
    • David discovers that one of Jonathan’s sons is still living. He also hears the news that this man is crippled.
    • The response of grace is not to ask what kind of man he is, or even how bad he is crippled. Grace does not concern itself with the man’s background, his surroundings, his abilities, his appearance, his future potential, etc. The response of grace is to ask “Where is he?” As soon as David hears where this man is, he sends his servants to “fetch” him.
    • Grace said, “I am not concerned about his condition, I want him just like he is.” David said, “I’ll take him just like he is!”
    • When Ziba informed David, perhaps with a twinge of warning in his voice, “(he) is crippled in both feet,” David didn’t ask, “How badly is he crippled?” David didn’t think, “He would be useless to have around here.” Instead, he asked, “Where is he?” and he sent and brought him from Lodebar to Jerusalem because the response of grace is to fetch the sinner
    • Mephibosheth, was “ in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel.” This speaks of Mephibosheth’s low station in life. He didn’t even have his own house. Instead, he lived in the house of another man.
    • Machir means “selling, sold”.
    • Ammiel means “the people of God.”
    • We encounter Machir again in 2 Samuel 17:27-29, where he is shown to be intensely loyal to David. When David’s son Absalom led a rebellion against David, Machir (among others) supported and helped David at great danger to himself by bringing supplies to David the fugitive King. This suggests that Machir was relatively well off. He seemed to be a wealthy man, who had a very generous heart.
    • He certainly seems to be a man filled with great compassion, having harbored and supported Mephibosheth for some 15-20 years prior to David’s calling him to court.
    • King David may have held Machir guilty for harboring a relative of the rival monarchy, which could have meant the death sentence not only for Mephibosheth but himself, had David been so disposed (and as was frequently the case when a new regime came into power).
    • In his amazing grace, God does not look upon us and concern Himself with our crippled spiritual condition. Instead, He looks upon us through the eyes of grace, sees us exactly like we are, and He loves us in spite of what we are. He knows all about our past, our problems and our potential, yet He responds by drawing us to Himself anyway!
    • We see in this verse that grace seeks us out and finds us where we are, and that God’s grace initiates the relationship. He does not wait around for us to come to Him, because we cannot and do not come to God in and of ourselves. God draws us to himself as is taught in John 6: 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    • We must be “fetched” by Him before we can and will come to Him, John 6:44; 65.
    • When grace fixes its gaze on one of the crippled sons of Adam’s race, it cares for nothing but fetching us to itself.
    • Mephibosheth was one of the last survivors of the family of Saul. Were it not for the grace David demonstrated here, the entire family would have soon vanished away.
    • Were it not for the grace of God in Jesus Christ, no son of Adam would survive, 1 Cor. 15:22, but all would be lost in their sins and would go to Hell for eternity!
    • David intended to adopt Mephiboseth as his own son and to share his bounty and fellowship with this undeserving one for the rest of his life because of Jonathan, as God has done with us for the sake of Christ (cf. Ps. 23:6).
    • David therefore took the initiative to seek out Mephibosheth in spite of his unloveliness and his being a member of the house of Saul, and an enemy of the King, to bring him into his house and presence, with the intention of bestowing the kindness of God on Him.
    • We are told likewise in Romans 5:6 that while we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. ………and in Romans 5:8 that God commended his love toward us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
    • We see here as is the case with Mephibosheth that all the interest begun with God as taught in 1 John 4;9&10, and exemplified by Jesus in his interaction with the woman at the well at Sychar as related in John 4.
    • Similarly, Jesus took the initiative by becoming sin for us being judged on the cross for our sins in our stead.
    • In 2 Cor 5:21 we are told that “he made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    • That’s an amazing substitution! And it has resulted in our worship and willing servitude.
    • The crippled Mephibosheth deserved nothing and was not seeking David’s favor.
    • He hadn’t turned in an application to be considered for a position in the palace.
    • In fact, he was in hiding when the king found him. David did not just send for him and tell him to pick up his crutches and make his way to Jerusalem. David made a way for him and provided the means for him to come.
    • That’s a picture of the lovingkindness of God to those who have been crippled by the fall to come to His Throne Room through the New Covenant of His Son.
    • WE OFTEN SING “LOVE MADE A WAY TO REDEEM MY SOUL”
    • David is a beautiful picture of our Greater David, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who not only calls us “Mephibosheths” crippled by the fall by name to come to Him, He personally made provision for us to come to him, and has given us several invitations.
    • Even as David made a way out of the “wilderness wandering” for crippled Mephibosheth, our Greater David has made a way for us to come to himself.
    • You may have been a believer for some time but because of circumstances (and people) you feel like you are now in a place of “no pasture”, filled with fears and anxieties, perhaps trapped in the shame (bosheth = shame) of past (forgiven) sins, haunted by thoughts that have virtually “crippled” your walk of faith.
    • Our Greater David desires not just eternal life for us but abundant life today (John 10:10b). May David’s bestowal of the lovingkindness of God on an undeserving cripple named Mephibosheth stir the embers of your flickering hope into full flame for the sake of His Name.
    • As we meditate on Mephibosheth’s dire condition which was changed by grace to Davidic communion, let us allow the Spirit of our Greater David to renew our mind with this truth about how God deals with the downcast.
    • The psalmist would have us ask and answer these questions dear child of God…
    • Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise HimFor the help of His presence.(Psalm 42:5)
    • WE WERE FEARFUL OF GOD.
    • Can you imagine what Mephibosheth must have thought when the king’s messengers knocked on his door and said, “Come with us. King David wants to see you at the palace!” Verses 6 & 7 show us what he thought: he was afraid! He thought he would be executed.
    • Mephibosheth whose name means “Shameful,” though the son of royalty, was crippled, separated, in hiding, and afraid. He must have been terrified when messengers from David knocked at his door and demanded that he come with them to see the king.
    • In the back of his mind he anticipated the day when David would do as other kings did and massacre every potential rival to his throne.
    • The knock on the door also meant that Mephibosheth was no longer hidden from David. He felt secure as long as he believed the new king didn’t know about him.
    • Fear is the response of any sinner who is aware of his sin and who knows anything of God’s holiness. In our day we are in danger of portraying God as so syrupy sweet that we remove all fear of judgment from the hearts of sinners. If you do not know Christ as Savior, you have much to fear in the presence of God.
    • If you are outside of Christ, you face the “terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries” (Heb. 10:27)!
    • You rightly ought to be afraid, until you understand what God’s grace is all about.
    • Are you like Mephibosheth still fearful?
    • Are you afraid that God is an angry Judge who is watching your ever move ready at any moment to punish you or even kill you because of your sinful past?
    • Are you filled with shame for past sins which have been covered by the blood of the New Covenant (cp Mephibosheth’s name)?
    • Are you living in spiritual poverty at Lo-Debar because you don’t know about or really understand the infinite riches which are yours as an heir of God and co-heir of Christ?
    • As a dear saint in the New Covenant with God’s Son, do you really know and understand the privileged position you have entered into because of this Covenant cut many, many years ago?
    • You may have been a believer for some time but because of circumstances (and people) you feel now like you are in a place of “no pasture”, filled with fears and anxieties, perhaps trapped in the shame (bosheth = shame) of past (forgiven) sins, haunted by thoughts that have virtually “crippled” your walk of faith.
    • Our Greater David desires not just eternal life for you but abundant life today (John 10:10b).
    • As we meditate on Mephibosheth’s dire condition which was changed by grace to Davidic communion, may the Spirit of our Greater David to renew our minds with this truth about how God deals with the downcast, and may David’s bestowal of the lovingkindness of God on an undeserving cripple named Mephibosheth stir the embers of your flickering hope into full flame for the sake of His Name. Amen.
    • God’s grace seeks us where we are:
    • 1- Fallen in sin, v3
    • 2- Far from God,v4 and
    • 3- Fearful of God.v 4
    • Then what does grace do? Does God seek us out to condemn us? No! c.f John 3:17
    • 4 Fetched by God. V5&6
    • Verse 5 & 6 teaches that the Response Of Grace is to fetch the sinner, and bring him into the presence of the King
    • GRACE BRINGS US INTO THE KING’S PRESENCE TO RECEIVE THE A B C’s OF GRACE
    • The A, B, C’s of grace are—
    • “A” = acceptance;
    • “B” = blessing;
    • “C”= communion
    • .
    • VERSE 6
    • Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!
    • Mephibosheth’s affliction was a blessing in disguise. If he had not been crippled, he might have tried to challenge David for the throne or to escape from the king’s messengers. But being crippled, there wasn’t much he could do except go along with them, and when he came into the King’s presence, he fell on his face, and did reverence.
    • This is the response of those who recognize their needy spiritual condition and respond to God’s grace. Those who think that they are spiritually well often rebel or resist.
    • But Mephibosheth came, and he found the A, B, C’s of grace—
    • “A” = acceptance;
    • “B” = blessing;
    • “C”= communion
    • Up to this point Mephibosheth and David never had a relationship, because Mephibosheth wanted it that way.
    • He avoided David out of unfounded fears, because according to the custom of the times, Mephibosheth had a lot to fear from David. Yet his fear of David was not founded in fact, only on assumption.
    • Mephibosheth must have had a range of reactions to seeing face to face the one his grandfather had relentless sought to exterminate.
    • Surely, when Mephibosheth received news that he was being summoned to David’s court, it was not a welcomed message, because in that era, it was common for kings to eradicate any relatives of preceding kings in order to prevent rival claims to the throne, as well as sedition.
    • Mephibosheth would likely not have known about David’s private covenant with his father Jonathan; although he would have known about Saul’s persecution of David.
    • Mephibosheth fell on his face and prostrated himself .
    • Lying prostrate was an act of respect to authority figures especially kings (cf Isamuel 24:8;25:23; Esther 8:3).
    • In addition lying prostrate was also a frequent expression of fear.
    • For example, Balaam fell down afraid when he saw the Angel of the Lord (Numbers 22:31).
    • The beloved apostle John in exile on the Isle of Patmos fell down before his glorified Lord and heard words similar to those David spoke to Mephibosheth…
    • And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last (Revelation 1:17).
    • And David said, “Mephibosheth.”
    • Although Ziba had not specified this name but had referred to him as “the son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet, ” David called Mephibosheth by his name.
    • While the Bible does not allow us to hear the tone or inflection of David’s voice, the context would certainly support the presumption that the King spoke with a gentle, soft tone, not a harsh, condemning tone.
    • Don’t miss this magnificent display of grace here. It is what David did not say that is dramatic –
    • He did not say “the cripple” He did not say “my former enemy’s grandson”. He did not even say “Jonathan’s son”. Instead David calls him by his name, “Mephibosheth“
    • How wonderful that David called this frightened, shame-filled “dead dog” by name, and sought to lift him out of his fear, his shame and his poverty and placed him on a higher plane.
    • Can you imagine what went through Mephibosheth’s mind at that moment?
    • “He knows my name. The King knows my name!”
    • And the “Greater David” King Jesus also knows our name and calls us personally and intimately by name.
    • He calls us by name to join Him at the table for communion and fellowship. John 10:3 reads To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
    • Is this not a manifestation of the lovingkindness of God through David as he stoops in his royal robe to reach out and lift up this crippled man by calling his name? Is this not what the Greater David, the Lord Jesus Christ, has done for all who have entered into communion and fellowship with the King of kings by grace through faith?
    • JUST AS DAVID ACCEPTED MEPHIBOSETH JUST AS HE WAS, SO TOO HAS HE ACCEPTED US!
    • And he answered, Behold thy servant!
    • Mephibosheth refers to himself as “servant” five times (2 Samuel 9:6, 8 and also in 2 Samuel 19:26-28).
    • His reply suggests a humble attitude, an interpretation which is supported by the passages cited above.
    • Like the apostle Paul in Romans 1:1, Mephibosheth seems to have understood the call and commitment that this great word “servant” pictures.

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